Audrey

“Everything was going well in my life. or at least, it should have been.”

This is a story from around ten years ago. One of many interesting little stories of a time when I was a bit more intense about trying to meet women, dating, and all else in life, in full swing. this is one of so many stories i hope to reflect and expand on. the dating world is so strange, it isn’t quite what you think. so much goes on under the surface.

 

At a meditation seminar I saw this girl. I liked her posture, the soft curve of her back.

After the meditation I went up and spoke to her. I was surprised by how well it was going. We were talking a mile a minute. I wasn’t thinking about it. It just happened.

I had been practicing a lot with my dating coach Rob, going out and talking to people, and it was paying off. Now even without him I was getting results.

Her name was Audrey. She and I agreed to meet at my house the next week.

She came over and we watched anime.

The only confusing part was how well it was going. my love life had been a constant struggle all my life for no clear reason. girls just seemed to think i was invisible.

That is why I have to tell the story of Audrey. It still sticks out as a good memory.

 

It was going well.. but now I was forced to confront the next layer of my fears. the more subtle fears. I realized I relied on the anime to be the exciting part of the day.. Years had gone by since i last really “believed” in love and this idea of my life “working” in the way that it should, I hadn’t been myself in a while. Life had let me down so epic-ally, even back then. Back then, I relied on the anime, going even further back, when as a kid i had relied on my art.

Now i had to be funny, break out of this rusty shell my life had become. This had to be first and foremost about her and about me, not just the show we were watching. i couldn’t find ways to add humor to the moment. I was often not sure what to say.

later when we went out to eat at the local little Japanese restaurant.. I realized I had a lot to say. I got back in my ‘groove’. looking back, I saw the TV as an asset but the TV was almost like a distraction.

The next date I went to her house and sat next to her as she played a video games. I remember she was kind of cuddling against me. It was great, but I realized I had done or said nothing to earn or invite this affection. I hadn’t said anything particularly clever or funny today. and that bugged me. because she was a cute girl, finally warming up to me, but it meant that I still didn’t have an answer. I didn’t know the “secret”. Why was this working now? when so many times it had failed.

We went for a walk. It wast something I did back then for fun at that time when I was 23.. but knowing I was doing it with her.. that was different. All I ever wanted was a partner in life. Someone I could connect to. A women. And now that I was with her.. the whole concept of fun was changing. walking was fun.. because it meant it was just me and her.

she told me about her struggles. she was telling me about this online game she played. back then i didn’t understand it the way I do now, it didn’t fully get the reason she was talking about this. It was less about the game, and more about what her life had become. Some if the things she said didn’t make sense to me then. but now they do. what she was really trying to tell me.. was the frustration.. about how this online world had become the highlight in her life, but that she knew it shouldn’t be.. Even if she didn’t say it. it was unsaid, or implied. she was explaining this missing thing. she told me how there was a “switch” in her life, and depression would cone out of nowhere. “i believe in the switch” she said. she felt she could not control what she felt. and she would have random anxiety around people at work. her body shaking. the funny thing is i have always had stuff like that, but back then i didn’t know how to talk openly with her about those strange little details. i was so used to keeping it out of sight out of mind. i had many of the strange little probelms she did. you are going to a social event and suddenly you focus on some little flaw you have. something related to your body. part of your body gets tense or starts to shake. you can’t take your mind off it. i still have stuff like that. but i had laerend to hide them. which was not helping me as i spoke to her. I thought i was mastering confidence, but there was a kind of dishonesty to what i had become, hiding the little flaws to the point that i can’t even relate to her as she is listing out the same flaws. i can only see it now.

Looking back I can see how my probelms were similar to hers, but i didn’t see it. my whole generation had been raised on video games. and even though at the time i was living a more spiritual and creative life, so much of my perception of the world was still being shaped by those childhood experiences. a life of being raised by a game. through my eyes, life felt like this competition, like earning a high score in a video game. it was fast paced, intense, high risk. thrilling with depressing let downs. high anxiety. the video games and digital technology were part of my childhood, for me and many millennials, they had this effect to “speed up” my concept of reality.. to such an extent that even in my 30s i would have to constantly remind myself just to “slow down”.

I remember feeling like I waned to make an anime about her. “girl who is cool, but plays too many online “mmorpg” video games. the guy meets her, and together they figure out how to live a normal life again, gathering online friends in real life.”

I remember the time, we were eating out at this Indian restaurant near her house. I called her beautiful and she looked the other way. as if to say “yeah right”. she didn’t think she was.

On the way back from the restaurant I held her hand. I remember I was beaming with joy from this, that she had taken my hand. and she laughed at me. “what?” she said. to her, it wasn’t that big a deal.

I didn’t know what to say. at that point, there was so much intense wondering and confusion, it was a relief to finally have that physical contact. To know that she did in fact actually like me. I think people don’t realize just how depraved of physical contact life is for some people.

She had had a boyfriend or two in the past. For me, nothing. in many ways i was more put together then her. but she was a pretty girl. she could game all day. yet still boast a history of fairly good looking boyfriends. not that she was boasting.

I had been meditating, running, focusing on creative, some writing, getting out and meeting people. I wasn’t running away any more like I had been in high school and college. I was pursuing the life I wanted, putting myself out there. I had preformed music in public places, parks and festivals. I had a writers coach helping me with my book. I was asking girls out. Everything was going well in my life, or at least, it should have been.

I remember driving back in the car with Audrey. Somewhere it was easier to talk to her when it was just the two of us. I spoke about chapters i had written in my fiction book.

“wow, your so productive” she said.

I wanted to take the compliment. but something didn’t feel right. i had days like that. I had come to understand the process very well. and yet, for reasons I could not understand, most of my days were not productive. I couldn’t seem to harness that flow consistently. I wanted her to see the best of me. and even if it worked, even if she did, I would still have to know myself that it wasn’t the whole truth. I wouldn’t feel it myself.

It felt like there were parts of myself I didn’t understand. It bothered me.

I told her about an event I wanted to go to. an anime convention. it was something I had been turned on to by college friends. a way to get out. you would drive to some other state and join this huge sea of people dressed up as anime characters in these big convention halls, attend anime screenings, by art. I wasn’t even as big an anime nut as most of the people there, but it was something that was kind of trilling to be apart of. so i just stared doing it, dressing up, driving to different states to these events.

she asked if she could come with.

I said I was not sure.

I realized it was the wrong the to say. obviously i like her. she should come with. Wasn’t this what i wanted all along?

what was I looking for at the event? something other then her?

was I still hoping i might find some more attractive girl? it was true.. there were girls who sparked that feeling more intensely. but she was a good one.

or was it something else? was there this adventure I was looking for.. that extended beyond the need for a romantic partner.. that could potentially even be limited by finding a partner too soon? maybe that made more sense. it was great to finally have this girl liking me. but still.. it felt like a one off. like I “got lucky”, and that bothered me. I wanted to feel it, like people in general liked me. like girls were attracted to me. I didn’t want to have that one lucky moment.

I was looking for.. something..

I was doing everything right, not just during the date, in the whole picture of my life. I was living a courageous and healthy life. that was why it bothered me, I still didn’t feel like myself about half the time. half the time, i had no idea what to do or say. she finally saw me. but i still felt ghostly. i felt what i had felt all along. I felt like a ghost.

I could feel that all the best stuff I had learned with my dating coach was coming into play. we had so many experiences of just meeting people and walking up to them out of the blue. I had learned to much and it was finally paying off. yet I couldn’t say specially with certainty what about it was working. “something” was working. but I still couldn’t put my finger on it. and I had these doubts. doubts that didn’t make sense.

It felt like as the man, I had to be proactive. calling her, making plans. and I just didn’t want to do it any more. I had this doubt. I knew, finally, I could make this work. but I didn’t want to make love “work”. I want to feel it. to know that I was connected to the love. the way I had loved these girls in my life. like a force you are compelled to feel, something you cant deny. i knew now, how to be with her, how to speak confidently, and how to listen. how to be casual. finally. i knew all the tricks, or the important ones at least. i could make her see me. i could make her love me. but now i had to face a different truth, i didn’t want to make her love me. i wanted love to be free. i wanted to feel that she felt it. i wanted her to seek me out. this was .. never how love should be.

I remember being so proud. and wanting to introduce her to my friends. even though it wasn’t clear if we were “together” yet. that was not official. i invited her to bowling with my friends. I remember my friend Jon saying “so you guys met at that event, and just kind of hit it off after that?”

Suddenly i became conscious that i was in a grey area. we were not actually dating. should we be? was this too soon to introduce her to my friends? that was just something i liked to do. another time i brought her to watch game of thrones with a few of my friends in my basement. and one of my friends actually started hitting on her. i think we were all a bit “depraved” romantically. i realized i didn’t know how to handle it. i started getting insecure and competing with him for her. but when i drove her home we talked and i felt like it was repaired. i remembered she smiled and waved bye to me she had this glow about her. it was good, getting better even. I knew i could do this.

I never called her again after that. i don’t know why. maybe i was afraid. there was so much uncertainty in it all. i wanted her to reach out to me. to feel that she wanted me. and she didn’t. and i guess that was my answer. maybe she was like my mirror, maybe she had the same doubts and fears. maybe she didn’t know I liked her. She was one of the better ones.

 

 

 

2 responses to “Audrey”

  1. Damn. 😭 Life can be so bewildering and feeling are so strange at times. Sometimes we end up sabotaging our own happiness because we are afraid. This was a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yeah, i shared this story because i feel like it sums up so much of life. it is strage. but it keeps you wondering. thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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